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What exactly does non-benign mean?
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What exactly does non-benign mean?

I recently had my first mammogram, and a lump was found (ok - I knew about it a while ago but wasn't smart enough to do anything). I had a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound, and my doctor told me today that the radiologist said there is a non-benign mass. I've been scheduled for a vacuum-assisted core biopsy in three days. My doctor told me not to worry - 95% of the time these come back as nothing.

What does "non-benign" really mean? In my english classes, I would have sworn it would mean something on the order of malignant or at least bad, in which case I should worry, no?
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3 Comments
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25201_tn?1255584436
according to the rules of the English language it would mean not benign. I must admit that I don't recall seeing it used though. I have no idea why it was used in your case. It's good that you are having the biopsy to clarify the situation. A biopsy is the ONLY way to know if something is benign or not ... films can't.
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Avatar_n_tn
A benign means harmless, no affect on a persons health.  Non-benign would me something that can cause a health problem. The radiologist may of used this term becuase he could not determine what the mass was. I'm speculating of course, but my educations guess is that to the radiologist it did not look like a a harmless mass but didn't look like any specific cancerous or disease causing mass. That doesn't mean it isn't harmless and it doesn't mean it isn't cancerous, it just means the radiologist couldn't clearly identify it, so s/he recommended a biopsy.  At this point you really can't do anything until you get the results of the biopsy. I dont' recommend worrying but I know it is hard not to.
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544772_tn?1321288809
Thank you ladies. I'm doing my best to focus on being scared of the actual test and not the results. It's my method of dealing for the moment. My friend tells me that if I can list one or more ways worrying actually benefits me, then I should go ahead, otherwise I shouldn't waste my time. Easy for him to say!
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